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Gillian Clarke (born 8 June 1937) is a poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator (from Welsh).[1]

Clarke was born in Cardiff and brought up in Cardiff and Penarth, though for part of the Second World War she was in Pembrokeshire. Although both of her parents were native Welsh speakers, she was brought up speaking only English, and she learnt to speak Welsh as an adult. After graduating in English from University of Wales, Cardiff, she spent a year working for the BBC in London. She then returned to Cardiff where she married and had a daughter, Catrin - about whom she has written a poem of the same name - and two sons. She worked as an English teacher, first in the Reardon-Smith Nautical College, and later in Newport College of Art. In the mid 1980s she moved to rural Ceredigion, west Wales with her second husband, after which time she spent some years as a creative writing tutor at the University of Glamorgan. Her poetry is studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout Britain. She has given poetry readings and lectures in Europe and the United States, and her work has been translated into ten languages.[1] A considerable number of her poems are used in the GCSE AQA Anthology.

She has published numerous collections of poetry for adults and children, see below, as well as dramatic commissions and numerous articles in a wide range of publications. She is a former editor of Anglo-Welsh Review (1975-84) and the current president of Tŷ Newydd.

Several of her books have received the Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 1999 Gillian Clarke received the Glyndŵr Award for an "Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales" during the Machynlleth Festival.

She was on the judging panel for the 2008 Manchester Poetry Prize.

Gillian Clarke became the third National Poet for Wales in 2008.[2]

Gillian is currently reading her poetry for teenagers who are taking their English GCSEs. She is part of the GCSE Poetry Live team that also includes John Agard, Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Imtiaz Dharker, Moniza Alvi, Grace Nichols, Daljit Nagra and Choman Hardi.


  • Snow on the Mountain. (Christopher Davies), 1971
  • The Sundial. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer), 1978. ISBN 0-85088-540-X
  • Letter From a Far Country. (Carcanet Press), 1982
  • Selected Poems. (Carcanet Press), 1985 ISBN 0-85635-594-1
  • Letting in the Rumour. (Carcanet Press), 1989 ISBN 0-85635-757-X
  • The King of Britain's Daughter. (Carcanet Press), 1993. ISBN 1-85754-031-X
  • Collected Poems. (Carcanet Press), 1997. ISBN 1-85754-335-1
  • Five Fields. (Carcanet Press), 1998.ISBN 1-85754-401-3
  • The Animal Wall. Illustrated, for children. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer) 1999 ISBN 1-85902-654-0
  • Nine Green Gardens. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer), 2000. ISBN 1-85902-805-5
  • Owain Glyndŵr. (National Library of Wales), 2000. ISBN 1-86225-015-4
  • Making the Beds for the Dead (Carcanet Press) April 2004 ISBN 1-85754-737-3
  • At the Source (Carcanet Press) May 2008. ISBN 978 1 857549 86 7
  • Heron at Port Talbot


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